Friday, 15th December 2017
It seems very odd that I should be writing my last letter to you this term already – on one level it seems as though term has only just started. On another level I am very well aware that Christmas must be very soon upon us. So much has happened this term – so much – and there has been a great deal of success. Looking back over the term I see so many images of busyness, of people achieving many things, some deeply significant, some less so but nonetheless adding to the sum total of happiness. I hope that every pupil in the school and every parent will have some lovely memories of the term which is just coming to a close.
The last day of term is always a time for endings. Sadly we are losing four members of staff. Two gappers, Reilly and Mike, are both going back to New Zealand to continue with their education. Both have been friendly, pleasant and helpful and have made an impact on the school’s pupils whom they have helped look after and develop. Equally, with unceasing good nature, they have assisted the staff in undertaking the many tasks which maintaining a busy school life demands. Mrs Denise Stansfield is moving to Henley to follow her husband who is to take up a new job there. She is looking forward to developing her career and to doing some more nannying. She has been a particularly effective teaching assistant, particularly in the maths department where she has patiently and calmly navigated many boys through the perilous seas of the mathematical world. She will be much missed. Finally, we will be losing Miss Ruth Sibly, our incomparable Form One teacher, who will be moving to Headington where she is looking forward to working with girls and to being part of a large department. Ruth's classroom has always been a model of how a classroom should look, covered from floor to ceiling with children's colourful work. Her lessons have always been inventive including, twice, her classroom being turned into a crime scene, and her relationship with her pupils has always been second to none – my son Henry, for instance, adored her and indeed we had to invest in a pair of rabbits related to Miss Sibly’s rabbits so as to cement the relationship. Ruth has been the consummate professional and we will miss her desperately. We hope very much that she will thrive at her new school but, even more, that she will come back and visit.
I am very much looking forward to seeing you all at the Carol service in the Cathedral tomorrow and at the Punch Party in the school afterwards. The Carol service will be an unforgettable occasion and a lovely way to end the term. The principal long-term aim of the Punch Party is to raise funds for the School via the PA. It is perhaps worth remembering that the PA, because of its successful fund raising ventures, was able to help considerably with the construction of the new playground. Please come to the party laden with cash so that you can aid the PA with its support of the school. Please remember that there is an auction of promises which you can bid for and which closes at midnight tonight. I’ve been scanning the latest update – there really is so much on offer: holidays in Seville and Derbyshire, a chess game against a blindfolded FIDE Master, a consultation with a New York interior designer, a river trip in a rowing boat and so much more. Do take a look and see what takes your fancy. The number of exotic experiences available are legion and at the moment there are some real bargains. Why not give yourself or a relative the experience of a lifetime?
Talking of which, I hope you all have a very happy Christmas.